The Midlands has been through somewhat of a dramatic makeover during the last decade, with skyscraper offices, media villages and shopping outlets transforming the region’s skyline.
More recently, we’ve seen a growing interest in better transport facilities, connecting not only the separate towns and cities that make up the Midlands, but also neighbouring metropolitan cities, such as London, Manchester and even as far as Scotland. The challenge for engineers being, how to create a more efficient region without causing further harm to the environment. Keep reading to see how a few engineers are able to make this a reality.
Perhaps the biggest and most exciting project that will affect our region is High Speed 2 (HS2). The new high speed railway is expected to provide quicker transport between London, the Midlands, Scotland and the North. In its first phase, a dedicated track of 140 miles will enable trains to travel between London and Birmingham, delivering quicker journeys on more trains with additional seats – as a guide, a journey from Birmingham to London will be reduced from one hour 21 minutes to just 49 minutes. Although it won’t be available until as early as 2029, work has already begun on the project and is expected to create thousands of jobs.
- West Midlands Metro
Whilst we’ve already seen investment in the West Midlands Metro, with tram lines covering much of Birmingham Westside, over the next few years, we should expect to see much more expansion. The network is expected to triple in size, connecting Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Dudley, Brierley Hill, Digbeth, North Solihull, Birmingham Airport, the NEC and HS2 with over 80 tram stops.
- The Commonwealth Games 2022
As Birmingham continues to celebrate its hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2022, there has been a huge focus in regeneration of the local area. Alexander Stadium will be a focal point for hosting the Games, including the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the track and field events for athletics. As a result, the stadium is expected to almost quadruple in size, accommodating 40,000 more spectators. There are also plans to revamp Perry Barr train station, as well as introducing a more efficient bus network, Sprint.
- One Eastside apartment block
Expected to be the second tallest skyscraper in the city, One Eastside in Birmingham will include a 51-storey apartment block and neighbouring it will be a 16-storey block. Together they will include 667 one- and two-bedroom apartments to rent alongside a roof-top bar, gym, cinema, retail and leisure facilities.
- New homes
According to the WMCA, the Midlands is in need of 215,000 new homes by 2031 in order to keep up with the growing population and economy. A total of 16,938 properties were built in 2018/19 – a 15% rise on the previous year, but there is a push for more homes to be built on brownfield land. This is where homes are built on derelict industrial land wherever possible, helping to relieve pressure on the environment. Over the next few years, we should expect to see a 750 home community in Friar Park, Wednesbury, 151 new homes in Wolverhampton, and 263 new houses in Walsall – all built upon brownfield land.
There are lots of exciting opportunities in the pipelines that will be sure to provide our region with better standards of living, be it through transport, housing or sport. If you too would like to be a part of shaping the future landscape of the Midlands, then our engineering courses can help design the right future for you. We have an industry standard manufacturing workshop, equipped with technology that will help you gain basic hand skills, milling, turning and surface grinding skills, as well as give you a good grasp of electrical engineering.
Apply now to secure your place for September. See our Engineering courses.